Monday, December 11, 2006

New Method for Forming Tissues from Stem Cells

Bioengineering researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh and stem cell biologists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have combined to create a new system for helping stem cells grow into complex tissue systems.

The research involves laying a foundation of nurturing proteins on a glass slide, which was then coated with a pattern of proteins specific to the type of tissue they were trying to create. Muscle-derived adult stem cells were added on top of the protein pattern, and derive into tissue. In this case, the stem cells derived into bone-like cells. A control group, not grown on the specialized protein pattern, derived into muscle-like cells.

Usable therapies are likely decades away, using this technique, but this research is an important first step.

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